Flappy Bird and its untimely demise might have been grabbing the headlines in the mobile gaming world, but it certainly is not the only game to have ratcheted up the popularity stakes of late. Another title making waves is the appropriately named Threes! which, a bit like the game featuring the flying feathered fiend, eschews the “cutting graphics” route and instead keeps things relatively simple.
Mind you, there the similarity between the two titles ends. For, where Flappy Bird was all about tapping on the display to keep said feathery friend from taking a dive, Threes! is about, additions and combinations. You start off with a board with some numbers on it, and some tiles blank. You can slide the numbers around using your finger – in most cases, you will end up moving most of the letters on the board, so be careful. But why are you into this tile movement spree? Well, that brings us to the objective of the game. The board has tiles with numbers 1,2 and 3 on it when you start out. Your job is to get tiles that either add up to 3 adjacent to each other, or alternatively get tiles with the same numbers above 2 next to each other (diagonals are not counted). Once you get these tiles next to each other and push them either up against a wall or with no other space to move, well, they will blend into each other, forming a single tile that contains their sum.
In simple terms, this is a game that where you either add up 1s and 2s to form 3s or put other similar numbers that are factors of 3 (3,6,12, 24, etc.). Every move you make adds a new number – either 1 or 2 – to the board. The game is over once you run out of space to move and you get a score based on the numbers you created with your addition efforts. There are no time or move limits – you just keep trying to move and add tiles. And no, it is not as dull or as complicated as it sounds. The graphics are decent, the background music is funky but low profile and the exclamations uttered when two tiles blend are rather catchy (some could qualify as risqué, we think). In some ways, this is a bit like the three in a row business seen in many titles, only with some real thought put into it. And you do not need to be a math wiz to play the game – all of us know that “1+2=3”. The game will do all the other adding and also show definitions of new larger numbers you create.
All of which makes Threes! one of the most addictive number games we have played for a while. It does tax the brain, but does so gently and persistently. Yes, we know some will baulk at paying close to a couple of dollars for it when there are free number puzzles (read “Sudoku clones”) games out there. Our advice: grab it. It is so simple and yet so complicated that you will get hooked. Oh and our highest number so far is 768.
Available from: iTunes App Store
Price: USD 1.99